Updated August 8th
Please note I have had to change my email address , which now is firstname.lastname@example.org please use this if you wish to contact me.
I do hope that some of the hints will be of use to you, I can only say what I do and why I do it
as , there is not a right or wrong way of doing things in gardening .
I did write a small book about my life from a garden boy in the 40's and we sold it when I did my "Memory" talk, we donated 50p per book to the British Heart Foundation who received over £1000.00 as a result. I do not get it printed now but on the right is a link by which you can download it to read.
I have been asked to put my talk on to a disc for those who have been unable to hear it, I have done this and a few discs are available ,please email me for details.
At the bottom of this page if you click on "older posts" there are more hints
We are having a most unusual year this year as regards the weather. Early on it was so wet and cold we could not plant anything and nothing grew but recently it has been so hot and dry. Some crops will need to be harvested early and some may even fail.
Potatoes, peas, French beans are ready to harvest and the peas and beans need to be picked when young so as to encourage more to come. If you should
Decide to grow a late crop of peas, possibly where you have cleared your early potatoes then you should use an early variety. Early varieties crop about 10-11 weeks after sowing and should be clear before the colder nights come back together with the mildew. Main crop peas take much longer to mature and you can lose the crop to mildew.
Spring cabbage seed can be sown to give you plants for later planting. It is still not too late for a sowing of lettuce and radish.
I like to try and keep my runner beans moist at the roots which I believe helps with the pollination, better than spraying water all over the plants which
can wet the pollen.
Any flowers or grasses that you grow to use dry in arrangements should be cut possibly around midday when the sun is out and warm. If you strip the foliage it gets rid of the bad smell and the flowers dry quicker.
You can start collecting seeds from the annuals for next year.
Hanging baskets and containers need to be kept watered, removing faded flowers will lengthen the flowering period and cuttings of geraniums can be taken. I like to have a good half-inch of good coarse sand on top of the compost then you can get many cuttings in a 5 inch pot without fear of them damping off.
If you disbud some of your dahlias you will get bigger flowers but do keep cutting so that seed heads do not form.
Raspberries that have fruited can be pruned now by cutting to ground level all the canes that have fruited this year. Then you can tie in the new canes about a hands width between the canes. Autumn fruiting varieties are left until the spring for pruning as they fruit on new canes formed next year.
Strawberry runners can be pegged into pots to make it easier to lift and replant
If we have a dry spell it is best to raise the blades of your mower so as not to cut too low thus giving moss a good chance to establish itself. In my opinion we waste a lot of water trying to keep our lawns green .
Thse are my first bunch picked 25th May which is right as I usually pick chelsea week.
I went to my allotment this morning to check after hard frost. pleased to see sweet peas still looking good. They were sown on 8th October last year.
I have just singled the sweet peas into root trainers, there are 51 from 50 purchased seeds. They always allow one or two extras.
The second picture taken on Jan. 6th show sweet peas breaking with out being stopped , they are been outside ever since they were put into root trainers
My latest picture taken on March 28th shows plants now, planted hoping weather stays good.
Onion sets just starting to show, I plant well down in the soil so that no trouble with birds, having got rid of white rot I get a good crop.
It has been a bad year for me with sweet peas, I decided to try saving my own seed last year and this has been very reasonable but when I planted the plants back in March , the very next day we had storm Katie. This almost blew them out of the ground but enough survived to amke best part of a row. As they came into flower I had bud drop plus a spell in hospital, this meant I had to let the plants go for about a week meaning bent stems. However when show day came I managed one vase of ten, these were good enough to bet best in show so I still hold the cup which I forst won 42 years ago. I have not had it every year but will keep trying.
These are 3 of my seedlings that I have registered and named over the years. I have had prizes at London shows with them including "Best" in section with Ann's Blush. We also have Molly Ann named after our grand daugther